VARIOUS ARTISTS: Ambient Pop 2010 (Kompakt)


Posted on Feb 2nd 2010 12:57 am

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V/A: Ambient Pop 2010

Ambient Pop 2010
Kompakt 2010
13 Tracks. 75mins07secs

Amazon UK: CD Amazon US: CD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

Kompakt’s Pop Ambient series has become an unavoidable feature in the music calendar, each year delivering a new contingent of ambient tunes carved by some of the masters of the genres, yet, despite gaining much praises, these collections have at times proved something of a lacklustre affair, and this tenth edition in the series is no different. Gathering a number of Kompakt regulars (Mikkel Metal, DJ Koze, Jürgen Paape, Dettinger, Thomas Felhmann) and occasional contributors (The Orb, Triola, Popnoname), with label boss Wolfgang Voigt curating the project and contributing, this latest display delivers its fair share of hopeful twists and forgettable turns over its seventy five minutes.

Kicking off the proceedings, Marsen Jules’s The Sound Of One Lip Kissing is quite a stark angular piece, served by a dense metallic chord/beat composite with repeatedly shatters, setting off this collection onto a particularly experimental start. Later on, Andrew Thomas’s Clouds Across Face convingly tampers with distortions and noise processing to create a slightly out of kilter piece, while DJ Koze weaves together a sparse piano loop and delicate electronics which could occasionally evoke the atmospheric elegance of Harold Budd. The haunting sonic mass of Dettinger’s Therefore, Thomas Fehlmann’s stripped down and celestial In The Wind or Popnoname’s grandiose  Deutz Air also greatly contribute to the more edgier side of the project by creating three somewhat radical and visionary pieces.

Elsewhere, Pop Ambient serves a selection of more standard dreamy electronica, most notably with Triola’s Schildergasse, The Orb’s Glen Coe, Mikkel Metal’s Blue Items or Brock Van Wey’s Lest We Forget and Will You Know Where To Find Me, which, against the grittier contributions, appear rather bland and all too forgettable, and even Voigt’s electro acoustic Zither Und Horn, which steps away from GAS’s foggy ambiences to adopt a much more stripped down approach falls short of the mark by remaining a tad conservative in his output.

While this tenth volume in the Kompakt series offers a pretty wide vision of contemporary ambient electronic music and makes space for the more experimental and challenging side of the genre, it all too often succumbs to the mundane and uninspiring to the point of overshadowing the interesting work it also features. In the end, Pop Ambient 2010 is a pretty slick and non-stick affair which doesn’t deserve anymore than a passing interest.


Amazon UK: CD Amazon US: CD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

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